News for Visitors to Chesterfield

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Chesterfield: Live, Work and Play

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It’s a great time to be living in Chesterfield County! We’re experiencing excellent economic development success and the word is out – all around the globe – that Chesterfield County is an outstanding place to live, work and play. And eat!

This past year was a historic one for Chesterfield County. Our population grew to another record, surpassing 332,000 residents at the end of the year. Employment in the county, once again, set records as companies added new workers to their payrolls. Retail sales were higher than ever before as new and existing local businesses captured additional consumer spending. New economic development announcements topped $2.13 billion in 2014, which was by far the most in the history of Chesterfield.

In the years ahead, we expect our population to continue to grow. It is estimated the county will have more than 346,000 residents by the year 2020 and more than 360,000 residents by 2025. Many of those new residents will need a place to work.

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Fortunately, companies in Chesterfield like Amazon.com have been creating thousands of new jobs for area residents. In the second quarter of 2014, the number of jobs in Chesterfield reached an all-time high of 124,380 for that reporting period.

Those jobs were in 7,880 establishments spread across the county. The number of establishments for that period was also a record high. These record numbers will likely be surpassed by end-of-year figures due out in a few months.

Retail spending has picked up significantly in Chesterfield as consumers regained confidence. Taxable retail sales reached a record $3.94 billion in 2014. That figure was up more than $193 million from the year before. In the past five years, taxable retail sales are up nearly $600 million in the county.

We expect food and beverage stores will continue to see significant increases in sales over the next couple of years. Sales last year in that category were up more than 7% over the previous year. This year the battle for your food dollar is really heating up in Chesterfield.

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New to our area, Wegmans Food Markets is under construction in Stonehenge Village, a retail project located on the eastern edge of the Village of Midlothian. The store is expected to open in early 2016.

Also new to the market, discount grocery chain Aldi has submitted plans for a store on Mall Drive just north of Costco. The chain sells a limited variety of mostly Aldi branded products at bargain prices.

In anticipation of an expanding market and increased competition, other grocery retailers like Kroger, Martin’s, Walmart, Food Lion, and Fresh Market are building new stores, expanding existing stores or renovating store interiors.

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This past year, Martin’s opened a new store off Charter Colony Parkway in Midlothian and expanded its Harbour Pointe store on Hull Street Road. Martin’s is also renovating and expanding its store on Jeff Davis Highway in Chester.

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After recently completing an expansion of its Swift Creek Village store on Hull Street Road, Kroger is currently building a new store on Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield. Kroger is also expanding its Ivymont store in Midlothian.

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Fresh Market will open a new store in Commonwealth Center later this year in the building formerly occupied by Barnes & Noble. This will be Fresh Market’s second store in Chesterfield.

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Walmart recently opened one of its smaller, food-oriented, Neighborhood Market stores in the Meadowbrook Plaza shopping center. The company has another Neighborhood Market store under construction in Watermark Town Center off Iron Bridge Road near the Chesterfield airport.

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One product that will be on shelves in many of those stores is Sabra Hummus. The Sabra Dipping Company recently completed an $86 million expansion of its hummus manufacturing facility in southern Chesterfield. The expansion doubled the size of the former operation. More than 600 workers are now employed at the plant. The world’s largest hummus manufacturing facility is located right here in Chesterfield County.

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Other products made or distributed in Chesterfield will also show up on the shelves of local stores. In Meadowville, Medline Industries recently completed construction of a $23 million, 400,000 square foot, medical products distribution center. Medline is the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of health care supplies in the United States. You can find Medline products like Curad adhesive bandages in your favorite store.

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The biggest economic development announcement in the history of Chesterfield County was made by Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., Ltd. in June 2014. The company plans to invest $2 billion and create 2,000 jobs in its first U.S. advanced manufacturing operation. Tranlin will produce tree-free, non-chlorine bleached paper products made exclusively from organic agricultural field waste such as wheat and corn stalks. You will likely see the company’s environmentally friendly tissue products in local stores in the near future.

All work and no play can lead to a pretty dull life. But that’s not the case here. Residents and visitors alike have found Chesterfield to be a great place to play. Travelers come from near and far to visit our historic attractions, sports facilities and beautiful parks.

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Henricus Historical Park draws lovers of interpretive history with its re-creation of the second successful English settlement in the New World.

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River City Sportsplex and Mary B. Stratton park provide lighted, all-weather, synthetic turf fields for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse tournaments.

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SwimRVA owns and operates a state-of-the art indoor aquatics center in Chesterfield. The Collegiate School Aquatics Center hosts numerous major swimming competitions which bring swimmers from up and down the east coast to the county.

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Pocahontas State Park attracts lovers of nature, outdoor sports and music with a wide variety of events, performances and races. More exciting options are currently being developed in the park including the creation of the Richmond Region Ride Center. The ride center will become only the 12th site in the world to be recognized by the International Mountain Biking Association.

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Other opportunities to play in Chesterfield can be found at several other unique attractions. Uptown Alley is a huge state-of-the-art bowling, entertainment and restaurant venue. Sky Zone operates a fantastic indoor trampoline park. Thunderbolt Indoor Karting runs a thrilling indoor electric kart racing facility. These provide exciting recreational options for both visitors and local residents.

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All this play has a very positive effect on both the health of our citizens and the local economy. If we look at sports tourism alone, the local impact in 2014 was more than $25.3 million. During the year, sports tourism events attracted 156,113 attendees and 101,181 out-of-town visitors to Chesterfield.

Hopefully you have enjoyed learning a little bit about development activity here and feel good that we’re headed in the right direction. We think Chesterfield County truly is a great place to live, work and play. We hope you do too. We encourage you to visit ChesterfieldBusiness.com to learn about other business activity here.

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Sports Tourism Generated More Than $25 Million in Chesterfield

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The economic impact of sports tourism in Chesterfield County continues to grow. Richmond Sports Backers Executive Director Jon Lugbill presented an update on sports tourism to the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors at a public meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The highlights of the presentation include the following:

  • Sports tourism once again made a significant contribution to the economy of Chesterfield County in FY2014. In the fiscal year that ended in June, the total economic impact was over $25.3 million. The total was up $3.5 million from $21.8 million in the previous year.
  • The events in Chesterfield continued to attract large numbers of attendees. More than 156,000 people showed up at events across the county. These numbers included both participants and spectators.
  • A lot of the attendees were from out-of-town. More than 101,000 visitors came in from outside the area. Those visitors brought new dollars into the economy as they spent money on food and lodging at restaurants, hotels and other attractions.
  • Much of the sports tourism activity turned into direct revenue to Chesterfield County. Over the past three years more than $2.43 million has been added to the revenue stream of the county.

View the entire presentation below.

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A Celebration of the Vine

“A Celebration of the Vine” is hosted by the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce in Chesterfield County Virginia. As a premier event for the county, it showcases Virginia wines, regional entertainment and community involvement from a cultural and economic standpoint. Having earned the reputation as a “class act” presentation, this successful event incorporates teamwork and volunteerism within the Chesterfield Chamber and the community. Chesterfield Economic Development is a proud sponsor of the event.

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Sports Tourism Generated at Least $20M in Chesterfield

Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter, Jeremy Slayton, has posted an article about the economic impact of sports tourism in Chesterfield County.

In the article, Jeremy writes

Sports tourism is a major moneymaker for Chesterfield County.

In fact, there was a 46 percent increase in the economic impact for the many athletic events held in the county during the fiscal year that ended June 30, Richmond Sports Backers Executive Director Jon Lugbill said Wednesday during a briefing with the county’s Board of Supervisors.

Sporting events, ranging from soccer tournaments to lacrosse tournaments to mud runs, attracted 60,884 out-of-town visitors and were attended by 116,135 people.

All told, sports tourism had an economic impact of $20.3 million in Chesterfield. Despite the increase, Lugbill cautioned county leaders not to expect it each year.

“Sports tourism is thriving … but you’re not always going to see growth like this,” he said. “With time, there is a real opportunity, if we keep building on this year after year and we do it the right way, it won’t just be a flash in the pan.”

Read the entire article on the Times-Dispatch web site. >>>

A copy of Jon Lugbill’s presentation can be viewed below.

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Collegiate School Aquatics Center Opens to Public

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Grand Opening Celebration Marks Arrival of World-Class Aquatics Facility in Chesterfield County Virginia

Over four years ago, a group of local residents had a dream to bring world-class swimming and increased water safety to the greater Richmond area and today, that dream became a reality with the official opening of the Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership’s state-of-the-art facility, the Collegiate School Aquatics Center, with the expectation to host an estimated 400,000+ number of visitors annually.

The Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership (GRAP) is the unprecedented collaboration of five long-standing and impactful area organizations that include Collegiate School, Poseidon Swimming, Trinity Episcopal School, Richmond Kickers and the Sports Backers.

“Dozens of community leaders, parents and area residents have collaboratively worked together to elevate swimming as a life-long, participatory sport in Richmond and I am pleased to be associated with the many men and women who have worked tirelessly to bring this facility to our community,” said Bobby Ukrop, President of the Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership. “All of us who worked on this endeavor know the possibilities that it brings to our area – especially serving the needs of the thousands of area children who do not have access to swim lessons and water safety programs.”

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Located in Ukrop Park in northern Chesterfield County, the 54,000+ square foot facility boasts three pools including the 50 meter, eight lane Myrtha Pool from the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, a therapy pool with two underwater treadmills and diagnostic video equipment, and a 25-yard, warm water pool for lessons. An expansive 7,000 square foot mezzanine grandstand can hold up to 700 spectators. The fully accessible facility boasts a community room, ample parking and locker facilities. In the future, a 5,000 square foot space is planned for physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

“We are so fortunate to have such a well-constructed center with state-of-the-art equipment, but the heart of the facility is the community-wide focus on water safety, health and fitness, sports tourism and competitive swimming,” said Adam Kennedy, Executive Director, Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership. “The Collegiate School Aquatics Center is open to area residents of all ages and will primarily be available for community use with less than 20% of the pool being used for competitive swimming.”

Among the attendees to the ceremony will be a former Virginia resident very familiar with the Myrtha Pool at the new Collegiate School Aquatics Center, Katie Hoff. The former Olympian, who competed in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympic Games, swam in the pool at the 2008 Olympic Trials in Omaha before earning bronze medals in Beijing. A world record holder, Hoff now resides and trains in Florida.

The Aquatics Center will provide an economic boost to the region with 40 new jobs now and additional ones once the physical therapy facility opens. With the ability to host significant swim competitions; all sanctioned by Virginia and USA Swimming, GRAP anticipates the facility will bring over $2 million to the area annually through sports tourism. It is estimated that the Collegiate School Aquatics Center cost over $14 million to build and will host its first competitive meet on April 20 with Poseidon’s Fresh Start Invitational. To learn more about the water safety and swim instruction programs available to community, please contact Adam Kennedy at 804-334-7669.